Alina Bronsky follows her beautifully defiant debut, Broken Glass Park, with another story about women determined to build a future despite limited prospects. Told from the unself-conscious perspective of a wily, domineering matriarch, The Hottest Dishes Of The Tartar Cuisine (Europa Editions, $15) describes Rosalinda’s well-meaning, yet dysfunctionally tragic-comic efforts to secure financial stability, which to her means chocolates, stockings, and a better apartment. She tries to declare her hapless daughter, Sulfia, unfit so that she can raise her adored, strong-willed granddaughter Aminat, and arranges meetings for them with useless, self-absorbed men whose only marketable quality is their foreign passports. A cynically humorous, compellingly honest glimpse of post-Soviet realities.
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